Jacobs sets out climate action plan to go for net zero carbon in 2020

COVID-19: Our members taking responsible business action

“We have revealed a plan that sets us apart — capturing the shared passion, pride and drive of our people as we work to preserve our planet for future generations.

“From the way we operate our business, to the work we perform with clients and other organisations, Jacobs’ Climate Action Plan details how we will continue to make a positive environmental, societal and economic difference for businesses, governments and communities around the world.”

Jacobs Chair and Chief Executive Officer Steve Demetriou

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated travel restrictions has meant that since March 2020 business travel significantly reduced and, in most cases, ceased entirely. While this has immediately helped to reduce business travel emissions, more must be done to ensure that when the travel restrictions are lifted, the levels of emissions from business travel do not rebound to pre-COVID-19 levels.

Jacobs has recently launched its climate action plan, outlining the commitments the company is making to help abate the climate crisis and announcing that Jacobs will be net zero carbon in 2020. The climate action plan commitments and supporting delivery plans build on the foundations of Jacobs’ PlanBeyondTM strategy, which was launched in early 2019 to set out sustainability priorities across the business and how the company is helping sustain the planet for future generations.

A profound impact on humanity

While the COVID-19 pandemic has already made a profound impact on humanity and the global economy, it has shown communities, governments and citizens that it is possible for the world to unite together on a common cause. If we tackle climate change with the same level of urgency — with everyone looking for new ways to commute, communicate and work — there is hope that the climate crisis can be avoided, and Jacobs is at the forefront of making this reality possible. 

In the Climate Action Plan, Jacobs commits to help solve the climate crisis by achieving and maintaining the following:

  • 100% renewable energy in 2020
  • net zero carbon in 2020
  • carbon negative by 2030

These commitments relate to Jacobs’ operations — addressing the carbon footprint from activities in their offices and facilities and business travel.  The company has set out its aim to prioritise the decarbonisation of its operations, as well as its supply chain and work with the science based target initiative to have long-term carbon reduction targets approved.

The pandemic has resulted in Jacobs fast-tracking IT improvements to enable better virtual connectivity with co-workers and clients, along with a behavioural shift to connect virtually.

Jacobs is also combining expertise in digital, workplace strategies, buildings and design, to explore the future of the workplace and the opportunities of a distributed workforce, with an emphasis on how the lessons learned from the crisis should inform the future.

WHAT IF ALL BUSINESSES CAME TOGETHER TO ADDRESS THE ESCALATING SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC IMPACT OF COVID-19?